Welcome To Our Great Guinea Pig Maze Adventure! Looking At Our Awesome Guinea Pig Maze, And How You Can Create Your Own!
We have recently decidedly to kick off our YouTube channel again. And here at Squeaks and Nibbles HQ there are no shortage of willing volunteers.
With two rabbits, two rats, a hamster and no less than eleven guinea pigs right now, we’ve always got something new to share and show you.
And this week we’ve been getting a bit carried away with the idea of entertaining the guinea pigs.
Here are Piper and Mabel showing off their new guinea pig maze:
You can find another video of three more of our girls below.
Naturally sedentary creatures, finding an activity to keep their interest can be tricky.
But it definitely worth having a try with a guinea pig maze, complete with motivating tasty treats.
How To Make A Guinea Pig Maze
Making a guinea pig maze is easy. Take some old cardboard boxes, a pair of scissors and some tape. Break the boxes into flat pieces and tape them in position. Wall height should be just above their heads and the alleyways wide enough for them to comfortably turn around.
Then fill it with tasty treats to help keep them motivated!
For our guinea pig maze we collected together all the cardboard we had been storing for recycling, and spread it out to check out what was available.
It turned out, there was quite a lot!
Guinea Pig Maze Design
You don’t have to have a specific guinea pig maze design, but it can help if you like to be organized.
Begin by flattening your cardboard, because you will use that to draw the design onto.
You can stamp cardboard down, but when you want your pets to wander around it this isn’t ideal.
So just grab a big pair of scissors, and snip down the edges of the boxes to lay them flat.
You are then free to draw your guinea pig maze onto the base.
Remember to add a larger area at the start where they can choose to stay if they are not comfortable going in.
I recommend keeping it fairly simply and open, to encourage them to explore with confidence.
How big should the guinea pig maze be?
Ideally you want at least a three foot square, to be able to give them enough room to move around and you enough space to pop up a few partitions.
But beyond this, there is no maximum.
Just remember, if your guinea pig doesn’t take to the game you might feel a little put out if you have spent the weekend covering the entire back yard with your new maze!
Putting up walls
Once you’ve made the base, you’ll need to add some walls.
I recommend putting up the outside walls first, as this provides a stable structure for the internal walls to attach to.
Cut your cardboard to size – the walls will need to be head height to your guinea pig, so cut them about an inch taller than this.
Giving you the ability to bend the bottom inch over and attach it to the baseboard more easily.
You can make the internal walls in the same fashion.
Adding Some Treats To Your Guinea Pig Maze
And by treats, of course, I mean veggies!
I cut up some big chunks of carrot and red pepper, but actually these were too big.
The piggies who first joined the maze simply sat in one place and munched them – something I should have predicted!
Chop yours into tiny squares, no more than a quarter of an inch diameter.
Spread them around in a trail, and leave big collections dotted around for them to find.
Bring On The Guinea Pigs!
Now there is nothing to do but to bring in the guinea pigs.
You saw Piper and Mabel having great fun in the video at the start of the article, but Squeaker, Clover and Tallulah weren’t quite so sure to start off with.
Shy Piggies? No problem!
Place them gently into the large area, and try to stay quiet and calm.
Don’t push them or nudge them into the maze, let them sniff around and gage their reaction.
If they show signs of stress, then remove them from the maze. Remember, this is meant to be fun!
Don’t push it!
Not all guinea pigs are adventurous. In fact, the opposite is often true.
Of our eleven, I only introduced five to the maze.
These five are guinea pigs who are very motivated by food, always first to the bowl, and the loudest to greet me when I come along with dinner. They are also fairly secure and confident personalities.
Know your guinea pigs
You’ll see in the video that the most confident by far are Piper and Mabel. Piper is around eight months old, and Mabel is over six years old.
They live together away from the other female piggies because they are both quite strong personalities. Rubbing along brilliantly in each other companies, but sometimes creating waves in the bigger group.
But these bolshy temperaments mean that they are quite confident in new situations. And they very quickly settled into the new environment and wandered around checking it out.
This is what you need to look for when you pop your piggies into your maze.
Don’t leave them in there if they are stressed, or if it brings out any negative behaviors.
Case in point, little Clover (the calico guinea pig) was popped home fairly swiftly as she started biting at Tallulah’s fur!
Tallulah and Squeaker were okay in the maze, but were showing signs of stress. They are normally quite chatty and were staying silent, and only moving slowly around.
While Squeaker ventured a bit further through, Tallulah retreated back to the start whenever she found a new bit of food.
She wasn’t too stressed to eat, but I’m yet to meet a situation that Tallulah thought was too scary for snacking.
Knowing them as I do, I let them explore for five minutes but then popped them back home with a big pile of snacks to share with their friends.
Mabel and Piper on the other hand were happy to stay for a while.
Guinea Pig Mazes can still be used by nervous piggies
If your pets are a little shy, a guinea pig maze isn’t ruled out. You just need to take it slowly.
Make your maze, and pop them in for two minutes with some very rewarding tasty food.
Then put them back in their run for an hour before repeating. Do this every hour or so during the day and the next day you can increase the time they spend in the maze.
When it becomes familiar and they are more comfortable they will start to explore more. But don’t try to push it too far too soon, as they will associate the guinea pig maze with something unpleasant and then will never enjoy it.
Remember – it’s meant to be fun and entertaining for them as well as for you.